A restaurant owner who "tried to pass off revolting mouldy chicken as boiled crab meat" has been fined £10,000.
Gaby Kolajo, 52, refused to close restaurant Lagos Island when ordered by environmental health inspectors who found a mouse and cockroach infestation in the London-based eatery.
Just a few days later, Kolajo was caught red-handed serving customers at a birthday party held at the Lea Bridge Road premises in September 2018, Evening Standard reported.
He responded by telling officers only one half of the premises had been shut down.
But when searching the restaurant, horrified inspectors found what they believed was a container of mouldy chicken in the kitchen.
Kolajo insisted it was actually a traditional Nigerian dish of boiled crab, Waltham Forest Council said.
He was given the largest possible fine of £10,170 at Stratford Magistrates' Court, including £2,000 in council costs and a £170 victim surcharge on December 7.
Council deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: "The magistrate clearly saw through Kolajo's claims and used their full powers as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
"The state of the kitchens was bad enough but the owner decided to ignore the environmental health officer and the court to continue serving customers, putting their health at serious risk.
"As a local authority we have limited powers in what we can do to a business – even one that so egregiously ignores order.
"But you can rest assured that we will use all the powers available to us to take action against the minority of food business operators who do not take their responsibilities seriously like Mr Kolajo."
Lagos Island was last inspected in July 2020 and given a food hygiene rating of zero, meaning that it requires urgent improvement.
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